Telstra chief talks about telco

SYDNEY – The head of Australia’s biggest telecommunications company says its five-year transformation project as a “world first” that involves making the shift to a “principle-based” company.

Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo said the turnaround plan is a vision that hasn’t been achieved anywhere in the world. In an interview with the Telstra chief said he doesn’t particularly like fighting but when it comes to making a stand for a principle, it has to be done. “If we need to stand for a principle, we will, and that’s essentially what we’ve done in Australia,” he said.

“When I first arrived, the company really ran at the pressure of the government. Once you privatize and have individual shareholders that has to change.

“So we are a principle-based company and where the principle is, we work for shareholders.”

Trujillo joined Telstra as CEO in 2005 taking charge of one of Australia’s top 10 listed companies that installs an average of 12,000 services per day. In the financial year ended June 30, 2007, sales revenue was A$23.7 billion.

Trujillo admitted he has ruffled a few feathers since being appointed as the transformation has involved dealing with government, regulators and shareholders.

Asked what keeps him engaged and motivated, Trujillo said he was a very competitive person. “

I’m a competitive person, so I love winning, and you keep scoring in business,” he said. “I had a vision and its building a company around a vision that hasn’t yet been executed anywhere in the world – that’s exciting, that’s challenging.”

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